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US museum adds Katy Perry portrait to collection

  • Katy Perry is shown on a large screen as she accepts her award for Top Female Artist via satellite at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada May 18, 2014. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

WASHINGTON: Thanks to the generosity of a US forklift truck dynasty, pop star Katy Perry will soon take pride of place in the dignified National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

"Cupcake Katy," an oil-on-linen portrait by New York artist Will Cotton, will go up on June 18 as part of a rotating display of recent acquisitions, the museum said Wednesday.

The painting, completed in 2010, is being gifted to the National Portrait Gallery -- part of the Smithsonian network -- by the James Dicke family, whose wealth and large art collection derive from a global forklift truck business based in the state of Ohio.

In a statement, National Portrait Gallery director Kim Sajet said the tongue-in-cheek work "brings to mind a traditional European portrait of a bewitching 18th century bell -- Madame de Pompadour, perhaps?"

Sajet added: "Sweet but no mere piece of 'candy,' the woman is accessorized but not labeled -- she's the one in control."

Perry, 29, is among the biggest names in pop music today, with a raft of Top 10 hits including "California Gurls," "Teenage Dream" and "Firework," and a reputation for wildly colorful shows.

She's scheduled to bring her ongoing Prismatic concert tour to Washington's Verizon Center arena -- across the street from the National Portrait Gallery, as it happens -- on June 24 and 25.

 
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